This is not Eden. You probably figured that out. This is not Mayberry, this is not Seinfeld’s world, this is not Survivor. The world in which we live is a combat zone, a violent clash of kingdoms, a bitter struggle unto the death. I am sorry if I’m the one to break this news to you: you were born into a world at war, and you will live all your days in the midst of a great battle, involving all the forces of heaven and hell and played out here on earth.
— John Eldredge

I heard someone talking about gas prices recently.  They were given a simple answer to a simple question:

Q: Why have gas prices gotten so much cheaper?

A: Because of the increased supply available.

Very true.  In addition to the normal sources of Russia, OPEC, Canada, Venezuela, etc., the shale extraction in the US has dramatically increased our production as well.  There is a lot more to go around.  Add to that an increased focus on the environment and fuel efficiency, and you end up with cheaper gasoline.

All very true, but if you look beyond the surface, there is something far more sinister going on.  Last week I heard a businessman provide a different answer to the question above.  He said that OPEC (that extracts their oil far cheaper than the shale production costs here in Texas, for instance) hates the fact that we’ve discovered an alternative to some of our need for their oil production.  They like the control and captivity their production and our consumption provides.  They were essentially declaring war and using increased oil production as the weapon.

This is a far different picture than the simple answer that most people find upon first inspection.  At our house church family celebration in a barn last night, we were talking about the true meaning of Christmas.  To many, Christmas is about presents, family, and maybe even a baby in a manger.  But Jesus’ arrival on the scene was about something far greater.  His arrival in this world was an invasion.  He came to disrupt, establish, and tilt the balance of power in everyone’s life.  No one knew this better than our enemy:

A great Sign appeared in Heaven: a Woman dressed all in sunlight, … She was giving birth to a Child and cried out in the pain of childbirth.

And then another Sign alongside the first: a huge and fiery Dragon!… With one flick of its tail it knocked a third of the Stars from the sky and dumped them on earth. The Dragon crouched before the Woman in childbirth, poised to eat up the Child when it came.

The Woman gave birth to a Son who will shepherd all nations with an iron rod. Her Son was seized and placed safely before God on his Throne…

War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back, but were no match for Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left. The great Dragon—ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray—thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth.
— Revelation

There is a much larger story going on in the petroleum industry as there was in the simple birth of a baby born a little over 2,000 years ago.  And there is a much larger story unfolding all around you every day.  The Kingdom continues to advance and as a crucial player in it, your unique role to play is desperately needed.  Living with a world view that places you within that story and recognizes that you have an enemy set completely against you, will change everything.

Are you living your life in awareness of the larger story and our enemy set against us?

Is that an active part of your perspective in your approach to those you love and lead?

What is it costing you and others to not operate with a world view that is aware of the larger story and our enemy?